The Museum of Byzantine Culture in Thessaloniki, as part of the realisation of the project ‘The digital Museum of Byzantine Culture: from image to experience. Actions to upgrade the interaction and experience of a visit to the Museum of Byzantine Culture, with code No IIS 5029874, “2014-2020 Central Macedonia” Operational Programme’, carried out actions in response to the needs of the Museum itself and its international public.
The actions focused on improving the visitor experience for all ages, nationalities and abilities, the ability to have remote contact between the public and the museum, and the creation of a new infrastructure for the museum’s digital inventory, both that which the museum already had and that which resulted from the development of the new activities.
To create the activities on offer, the museum generated a great number of texts, photographs and videos, developed 3D models, created a digital repository, and installed a local wireless network in all areas (reception, the 11 galleries of the permanent exhibition, multi-function room, temporary exhibition wing, amphitheatre and shop).
In this way, the museum upgraded and modernised its technological infrastructure and applied innovative technologies that make physical visits to the site – and contact with the public around the world to update them about the museum and its activities – more attractive and interactive.
There was special planning for digital applications directed at young people in the form of games, which are characterised by innovation, rich themes, and visual aids.
The ultimate goal of all those involved in the actions – apart from increasing the number of visitors, the creation of a multiple use digital repository for specialists and the general public now and in the future – is for the Museum of Byzantine Culture to be a constant global attraction, completely aligned with the modern needs of education and entertainment, and fulfilling its social role in an outward looking, pleasurable way, suitable for modern realities and the digital age.
Therefore, the Museum of Byzantine Culture now has available the following:
– An audio guide for visitors of all skill levels to use on mobile devices. The guides are available in 11 languages: Greek, English, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Serbia, Bulgarian, Hebrew, Turkish, and Chinese.
– Audio guides for the visually impaired through the use of certified audio guides.
– Tours for people with hearing impairment in Greek sign language.
– Multi-lingual tours for visitors’ mobile devices (mobile apps for Android and iOS).
– A virtual tour application for selected museum exhibits through the use of AR technology on visitors’ mobile devices (mobile app for Android and iOS devices).
– The signposting of areas and exhibits in the museum that relate to the tours (numbered signs and QR codes).
– A re-designed, updated, and modernised new website that is mobile and tablet friendly.
– Entertaining educational interactive applications for young people (Reading a Byzantine coin |Visiting a Byzantine home | Paint a Byzantine icon | In the city’s port in the 13th century | Build a Byzantine church). The applications include matching games, jigsaw puzzles, multiple choice, quizzes, exploration, and drawing. The applications have been developed in Greek and English.
– Short and comprehensive videos (The hyperpyrion, the new coin of Alexios I Komnenos | Visiting a Byzantine home | Paint a Byzantine icon | In the city’s port of the 13th century | Learn about a Byzantine Church).
– A local wireless network in all areas (reception, the 11 galleries of the permanent exhibition, the multi-function room, the temporary exhibition wing, amphitheatre, shop).